APS News

New Physical Review Journal Offers Online, Open Access Publishing

By Mary Catherine Adams

Authors who have wanted to publish their papers with open access in an APS journal will now have a new journal called Physical Review X (PRX) suited just for them. The new online, open access, primary research journal from APS will publish papers from all fields of physics, including those that in the past may not have fit comfortably into one of the other Physical Review journals.

“There are a lot of physicists, who are working outside some of the traditional Physical Review areas, that haven’t had a good home for their high-quality research papers,” David Singh, Chair of the APS Publications Oversight Committee, said, mentioning areas like interdisciplinary research and applications-oriented work.
“It’s really nice that Physical Review now offers a home for those kinds of papers,” Singh said.

Open access publishing appeals to authors for a variety of reasons, according to Daniel Kulp, Editorial Director of APS journals. “There are no barriers. Anyone can read it,” he said. With open access, the dissemination of information is broader and information can enter the system more quickly. Both combine to give authors’ work more visibility, he said.

About six years ago, APS started the Free to Read program which gives authors the chance to have their published work made freely available on the Internet. Since then, APS has seen an increasing interest in open access publishing from authors.

“We felt the time was right to offer this new journal, especially because we know we can do it right,” Kulp said.

Jorge Pullin, Editor of PRX, praised APS’s position on open access, which he sees as essential in the evolution of publishing. “In the future, there could be incentives to publish in open access [journals] coming from funding agencies and research institutions themselves.”

Pullin is Chair of the Horace C. Hearne, Jr., Institute for Theoretical Physics and professor in both the Louisiana State University Center for Computation & Technology and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has served on the editorial board of several journals including Living Reviews in Relativity and New Journal of Physics.

Articles in PRX will be published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License which gives copyright to the authors and allows reuse provided that proper credit is given. “Our decision to offer this license continues APS’s proud history of being progressive, but responsible, regarding the rights governing the articles it publishes,” Gene D. Sprouse, APS Editor in Chief, said in a January 19 APS press release.

An article-processing charge of $1500 will cover the expenses of peer review, composition, hosting, and archiving. Joseph W. Serene, APS Treasurer/Publisher, said in the press release that “APS strives to be among the most cost-effective publishers in physics and is committed to a sustainable model that makes PRX affordable for authors and their funding agencies, nationally and internationally.”

A Call for Papers will be issued in March 2011 and the first article published in Fall 2011.

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Editor: Alan Chodos